Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: Curse Of Shazam, part 2

The second chapter of Curse of Shazam from JUSTICE LEAGUE  #8, once again reads like a teaser.  All that really happens is Billy meets his new foster family, which includes Mary and Freddy (who is now blond with a "Dead End Kids" personality).  Not surprisingly, Johns also includes his three new creations from Flashpoint : Eugene (the nerdy Asian), Pedro (the overweight Latino), and Darla (the Rudy Huxtable archetype).

Billy still acts like a jerk and makes Darla, the youngest of the kids, cry. Mary chews Billy out, and he seems to show a little remorse.  There is a glimpse of Tawny, a reference to Hoppy (Mary's pet rabbit that she, with Freddy's help, "liberated" from a pet store), and the all-too-brief teaser of a story ends with a foreboding lightning flash and thunder clap.

My thoughts: Much like chapter one, it's not bad, but nothing really special happens either.  Johns still seems to be setting the stage.  In the Golden Age, in 10 pages you could get an entire story with action, humor, thrills and a complete plot. I think the trade paperback collection of the entire story will be a more satisfying read. Gary Frank's artwork is very good, but like the tall muscular Sivana and the hooded cape, making Freddy blond is kind of a meaningless change (unless its some kind of reference to Elvis, who dyed his hair black once he became a movie star. Will Freddy likewise have black hair in his superpowered form?).

I would grade chapter 2 a C.  Johns better get things moving.


Chris said...

I'm really liking the fact that Johns isn't rushing the story. Sure, it only has ten pages to tell a story (this month, 11 pages), but I'm figuring since DC has put most of the first story arcs together for release, they might release Curse of Shazam on its own. With that in mind, the story is taking the right kind of pace for a graphic novel or collected release.
It is a little irksome to see Billy as the jerk character, but i like to think of it as a defense mechanism. He must have generated this jaded persona from being bounce around homes and being alone.
I love how Frank was able to convey a connection between Billy and Mary, through his artstyle. Frank's ability to capture human expression is expected to really drive this issue and nails it to me.
I like the take on Freddy Freeman, JUST DON'T MAKE HIM CAPTAIN MARVEL JR.!!!! I always found him to be a redundancy.

Shazamaholic said...

Chris, I can guaranteed Freddy will not become Captain Marvel Jr, and Mary will not become Mary Marvel. Chances are, they'll become Kid Shazam and Shazam Girl!

My question is, where is Johns going with his three "Flashpoint" kids? Will they be the new "Lt. Shazams"... or will the "Flashpoint" concept of all six kids merging to form Shazam be on the horizon?

Chris said...

I'm ok with having the other kids around, but No Lt. Shazams or 'Captain Planet-esque transformation'.!!!!

The Shazam family should only be extended to Mary and that's it!!
Freddy can be his best friend or something, with street humour. They can have Billy's foster-siblings be potential victims for whatever crisis Captain Marvel needs to deal with.

Walt Grogan said...

Geoff has made it clear that he's rolling the story out slowly. I asked him about this at C2E2 and he said we'll see Black Adam before we see Billy change into Shazam! So, I guess we'll have to be patient. I'm really digging Gary Frank's artwork.

Shazamaholic said...

Thanks for the info, Walt! Yes, Frank's artwork on this has been very good. I was worried it might look creepy (like his Chris Reeve face on kid's body from "Superman Secret Origin"), but happily that hasn't happened on "Curse of Shazam".